How Are You Supposed To DTR? Here Are 12 Tips For “The Talk”

If you want to talk to the guy you’re dating about where your relationship’s going, it’s important to handle things correctly so you skip the stress and get what you want. Here are 12 tips for “The Talk.”

  1. Choose the right time. You should have “The Talk” when you’re both in a relaxed, good mood and actually have time to talk. The last thing you want is to be halfway into a conversation when he’s rushing out the door to go to a meeting, or when he’s drunk and not really paying attention.
  2. Have it face to face. Don’t think you can get away with having “The Talk” via text – that’s a recipe for disaster, especially since people communicate with emojis which can be annoying AF. It’s also a bad idea to have this discussion over the phone. You should have “The Talk” in person so that you can gauge his body language.
  3. Don’t tell him you want to talk. The worst thing you can do is say that you need to talk to him – that’s enough to make him scared about what you’re thinking or if you’re pissed off. It causes the conversation to feel stressed, which isn’t what you want at all.
  4. Wait for an opportunity. It can feel awkward to open up a conversation about where you’re headed out of the blue, like when you’re shopping for antiques or at a baseball game. Wait for the right opportunity so that it’s casual. When the conversation hits the subject of relationships, for example, it’s the perfect time to ask him what he sees in the future and if you’re part of it.
  5. Avoid asking where you’re going. During the talk, you might be tempted to ask him straight out, “Where are we going?” It sounds like you’re being pushy and this can throw him off or make him feel defensive. He might think you’ve got loads of expectations or that you’re desperate AF, which you’re totally not.
  6. This doesn’t have to be serious. Forget the idea that having “The Talk” is some formal, super-serious event. It doesn’t have to be like that. The chat can actually be quite relaxed and light-hearted. It’s all about the attitude you bring to the table, so be positive and relaxed and that will make things easier for both of you.
  7. Know what you want. Don’t think that “The Talk” is just about finding out what he wants—you both determine your relationship destiny, so make sure you know what your expectations and standards are before you decide to have “The Talk” with your partner. Be true to what you want and what you feel.
  8. Keep it short. You don’t have to get into a rambling, long-winded discussion. Keep things to the point and be clear about what you’re saying. It might help to have a test run on a male friend, who’ll tell you if he understands what you’re saying and who can help you keep things on track with your expectations.
  9. Resist doing it during a fight. If you’re having a fight with your partner, you might end up jumping headfirst into “The Talk,” asking him what he wants and if he sees you in the future. That’s not the right setting and it can totally mess up defining the relationship. If you have questions for him, keep them aside for later, when you’ve both cooled down and are thinking clearly. You don’t want to regret what you said when you were feeling stressed and frustrated.
  10. Prep your questions. It’s easy to forget about some things you wanted to say, so keep a list of questions that you want to ask him during the conversation. For instance, you might want to ask him what his relationship goals are and how he really feels about you. Or perhaps what his views are on commitment, and if he wants to commit to you. “The Talk” is when you and your partner clear everything up and set on the same course. So be thorough!
  11. Give him a chance to figure things out. You might think it’s an immediate red flag if he doesn’t answer your questions quickly enough or seem enthusiastic about having this discussion, but that’s not always the case. You’ve had time to think about having this chat, meanwhile, he might’ve not seen it coming. Therefore, it’s totally fine to give him some time to figure things out, but make sure he gives you a definite time when he can give you his answers because you don’t want to leave this hanging forever. FYI: he shouldn’t need time to be sure of how he feels about you or that he wants to build something real for you!
  12. Speak, then listen. You have lots to talk about, but be sure that once you’ve had your say you give him a chance to speak and share what he’s feeling. This is important so you can gauge what he really wants and see that you’re on the same relationship page. “The Talk” is about meeting each other halfway. If he doesn’t seem to be keen to do that, now or later, you have your answer. At least you know where you stand so you can give your commitment to someone who actually deserves it.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.